By Ndubuisi Francis
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has expressed its resolve to ensure strict enforcement of capital market rules and regulations and clamp down on illegal fund operators luring unsuspecting investors with various Ponzi schemes.
The commission said it was necessary to restore investor confidence and attract retail and young investors into the market.
The SEC Director General, Lamido Yuguda, who made the declaration at the first virtual capital market meeting, said the forum assured the market of the collective commitment to continue implementing the ongoing initiatives of the Nigerian Capital Market Master Plan and other related initiatives targeted at developing the market.
“We further promised to continuously seek ways of improving these initiatives, while we introduce new ones, all to the benefit of market stakeholders.
“In order to increase the visibility and attractiveness of our market, we shall work towards maintaining an environment that is enabled by the appropriate regulatory framework, timely and affordable access to the market, zero tolerance for infractions, heightened investor confidence and awareness, innovative product development and good governance practices.
“We need to restore investor confidence and attract the retail and young investor into the market. Thus, we will ensure strict enforcement of our rules and regulations, strengthen our enforcement regime and clamp down on illegal operators luring unsuspecting investors with various Ponzi schemes,” he said.
According to him, the continuous operation of the capital market in the midst of Covid-19 restrictions was largely due to the existence of business continuity plans of the SEC, exchanges, the Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS), as well as other operators in the market.
To support the federal government’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, he said the commission has set up the Capital Market Support Committee on Covid-19, headed by Mr. Ariyo Olushekun, to raise funds and offer various support towards combating the pandemic.
With the support of various market participants, the committee, on behalf of the Nigerian capital market, has so far donated five ambulances to various state governments as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the Presidential Task Force on Covid -19.
Yuguda said: “In addition, the committee has distributed several face masks, infra-red thermometers and other medical equipment, including food items. Going forward, the committee intends to develop a capital market sponsored Nigerian strategic healthcare infrastructure fund.
“In furtherance of the initiative to infuse capital market education into the curriculum of basic and secondary schools, various trade groups have supported the efforts of the Financial Literacy Technical Committee (FLTC) with the sum of N78.3 million and of this amount, N34.7 million had been expended.
“The FLTC reported that with the support from the market, a stand-alone curriculum on the capital market studies for basic and senior secondary schools has been developed and infused into relevant carrier subjects. This has been ratified by Joint Consultative Committee on Education (JCCE) and the National Council on Education (NCE).”